More COVID-19-related issues have popped up within several regions ahead of the ONE Esports Singapore Dota 2 Major that could force teams to compete with stand-in players during the event at the end of the month.
Quincy Crew manager Jack “KBBQ” Chen confirmed today that Arif “MSS” Anwar had tested positive for the virus and will not be able to travel to the event. The team is currently trying to secure a stand-in player who can be approved for travel ahead of the Major.
Similarly, Neon Esports said John “Natsumi-” Vargas would be unable to attend the Major and the team will be playing with Rafael “Rapy” Sicat as a stand-in, moving Rolen “skem” Ong from position four to carry.
This news follows yesterday’s announcement that Natus Vincere would be playing in the Major with former Virtus Pro and EG player Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev and the roster’s coach Andrey “Mag” Chipenko. This move was made due to Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko and team captain Andrii “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko both testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of the team’s departure.
Even VP is taking precautions with its main roster after Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko said he was feeling sick on March 18. He tested negative for the virus, but the team still brought Igor “iLTW” Filatov back from its inactive roster to act as a potential stand-in if needed.
Prior to these positive tests and roster changes, many of the top teams that qualified for the Major, including Na’Vi, Neon, and VP, released statements reaffirming their support for the event and excitement at competing in a physical event for the first time in more than a year.
The Major, which is set to be the end of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit’s first season, is running as a physical event from March 27 to April 4 in Singapore. The top 18 teams from the opening regional leagues will compete for their share of $500,000 and 2,700 Pro Circuit Points.
Because teams are travelling out of their home markets, however, every player is required to undergo COVID-19 tests before their departing flight and arrival in Singapore. Players must receive a negative test result before being allowed out of the initial quarantine, which takes up to 48 hours.
If issues like this continue to persist ahead of the Major, other teams will face having to play in the Major using stand-ins instead of the core players that got them to the Major in the first place. This could severely impact the performance of several top rosters, but it’s not likely that event will be postponed or canceled.